Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge! v.7 The Lord of Heavens Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.”

EVEN THOUGH I WALK THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH YOU ARE BY MY SIDE – YOU ARE HERE WITH ME TO COMFORT –

We walk through many deaths on our way to becoming like Jesus. They hurt just like a real death. It feels strange to try to part with a habit or pattern that has become like skin to us – just like losing a person. Only this separation is harder in some ways – because you have to work to lose it – to get it to go away. And it leaves a scar and feels like surgery.

But the verses at the top, from Psalms let us know we aren’t doing this fight – this battle to push out destructive habits old comforts alone – we have the angel armies fighting for us and we have Gods hand to hold.

 

Sometimes in life, this is really true – more than just a beautifully written song ~ He really does call us out on the waters where oceans are deep and our feet really could and do fail us. Deep oceans and dark skies are unknown to us, much like life is sometimes – and failing is all we seem to be doing. Or all those around us seem to be doing and we are put tightly in the situation with them. These are the times when we can not lose sight of the Father, Who is our Shore. His promises become all we can cling to and so we do. And they prove faithful. For Gods promises to prove true to each individual, we must first know them, then believe them and then wait for them to come to pass. Readjust our sails to so that we are moving in His desired direction – going after, waiting for His will. I know this must be wrestled out over and over with Him sometimes but then when we rest there, tired from thinking of “better in our eyes” solutions – we finally just say Here I am Lord. And we wait ~

He shines so much brilliant light on our path while we are sailing the rocky and rough waters to get the next shoreline.

He is the best Lighthouse ever.

Showering us with gentle love that we can tuck just in the right places of our hearts. He DOES want us to continue living while we are soul waiting for something from Him – His chiseling on our heart and remolding it – He never ever leaves us in the heat on the waves alone.

His gifts of love while we wait in growing pain places will far out number the hurts tucked in the process that want so badly to leave scars but the Good Love of the Father does not stop coming.  While we are burning in our growing pains or cheering someone we love on in their heat – we are good to count and take notice of all the Love that is packed in. Sure, there are near hopeless moments (or so we feel) but there is really never a hopeless moment when our Hope is founded in Him. The Eternal One.

The Lord whispers in my Spirit, I have come. That may seem silly to you, but I have been talking to Him for a very long time about Him coming for me on this one important thing. This thing that I could not ever in a million years have had what it took to accomplish on my own.

I have had to let go off my plan about fixing it, and let God have control one measly little human step at a time. See we think the funniest things down here! “Oh wow I have really accomplished a lot and oh wow I am such an amazing person. Can’t you hear what they say about me?!!”

Ha. People. Seriously! God is so on a different scale of wonderfulness.

This is our job – mine and yours in the midst of our attempting to obey His timing – keep cooperating with God in spite of the doubts you may feel and the pain you may think you will have to endure. Keep cooperating day by day, choice by choice with God believing in His Always Coming to Us Loving Kindness. There. Now that deserves to be put in all caps. Not my humaness… But His faithfulness.

 

I am a recovering perfectionist who has wasted much of her life people pleasing instead of people loving… Oh you who struggle let me tell you there is hope for you and your own ailment of soul. And life is waiting for you on the other side. You see, we humans are never born patient and we assume that even beginning the insurmountable task of changing and growing will be too much, too hard and we will never ever get to Wal-Mart to pick up our groceries on time and our hair combed and teeth brushed if we try to add prayer and growing into the mix of things. Well, I am here to tell you YOU CAN DO IT. In fact, I can’t wait for you to start! Because as you and I serve One Powerful Amazing God we have His power easily accessible to us through scripture and prayer. We just have to add the believing and the empty heart space to the recipe. Go on, scoot that sore old mess out of your heart and into His loving hands. I was talking to a friend at church and she said that like me she didn’t have a bag of bar hopping sins to hand to God but she did have a lot of acceptable nagging sins that were keeping her from the life she could be living and that that was making Satan happy and her down right tired. I get it. Don’t you? Well let me get you started with some old fashioned encouragement from one sister to another and a verse. Yes, you have to read this verse even though you just got home from church. Me too. (We cant leave him on the pew and expect to carry Him in our hearts too.) Kinda like you have to actually apply the hairspray to get your hair to hold, you know?

2 Corinthians 5:21 “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”

Say the verse a time or two out loud and then pray it over your sin quietly to yourself. Believing in His power to purify you! 

 

 

Isn’t it true that God is always so very faithful in our lives – He is always moving stones for us. It takes awhile for me to realize that my stones are stones of course. I get so used to carry them with me – but I love it when He shows me and then gives me the prayers to break the chains that have me bound up.

Oh I may not look bound up on the outside but my insides are screaming HELP! and help us He always, always does. Even if it takes a week of messing with the stone around our neck, Lord why won’t you take this off! It’s so heavy!

I whine it out to Him. Then I nearly want to whine it out to my husband THIS PROBLEM IS SO INSURMOUNTABLE… when I realize that is a bad idea – he is my companion not my healer. So I find some Truth on my phone, put in my heart while we wait for our name to be called at the restaurant… they call our name, he gets up to go – I stay for a minute because I know where the real hunger in me is.  I can’t be pulling on, expecting my people to fix my sideways heart – it’s me and Jesus that can do the fixing the refocusing. I try to hear my husband when he tells me I’m looking good tonight. I try to believe him while I’m trying to believe Him.

Calming myself down because I really know what I need. I remember seeing the words, “He still moves stones” somewhere. It comes to my mind. My parents aren’t perfect but they were often seeking Him as I grew and they still do now and I see how messy growing is. On all of us. IF we are honest. No matter what our ages.

God does stop the crazy from rolling around in my mind and heart when I let Him have it –I purposefully let it go. Name it and call it trash so it has to go. He gives me the power through prayer. (it just took me all week to notice it)

Then I call my mom, and I don’t tell her about the mind struggle all week – although I think I want to – I talk about life and we laugh at how funny living can be with people like ourselves 🙂  The laughing is deep and hearty and I stop the spin of worry and SOMEONE MUST HEAR HOW HARD MY LIFE IS cry. because I have wrestled it out with Jesus. you can see the mess of books and bibles on my bedroom floor, drug with me all week back and forth from my home to my grandma’s where we are helping her not feel alone. You can see my seeking on my e-mails where I ask for and receive real prayer help from sisters in Christ.  Everyone’s life is hard. Everyone should laugh and breathe and take themselves a lot less seriously.   🙂

I love growing up in Jesus ~

 

My  Grandpa that was a big part of my daily life finally got to go on to heaven. 90 years old. But the trouble is our Grandma misses him a lot and it’s strange to think that he isn’t sitting in his brown recliner out in the country where it just always was.

My kids and I have nearly tossed our lives out of orbit to make sure we are visiting our Nana ( my grandma) often. It’s an hour away. I have to pack clothes and food. It’s made me nutty and tired. My normal time to exercise has to be moved to late in the day. My body and brain are not liking this.  But I know that it’s just what I am supposed to be doing. I want to even. Yesterday, I was all packed and mentally ready to hop in the car and go lest I get a call that she was ever so lonely. No one likes lonely especially after 42 years of marriage.

But I am not her Savior. I must remember this. My children aren’t her Savior either. I forget this Savior business sometimes. HE RUNS THE UNIVERSE. Breathe.

We ARE loving on my Nana well. We ARE being available. This is good. I would even go as far to say that for this time -it’s what God wants us to be doing with some of our time. It’s an obedience thing.

Something that, on His strength and in His timing He knew I would be able to do for others.  It’s hard work though. Which pays to say that God knows when His children need some extra heavy lifting.

I could smile and just tell you that it brings me so much happiness to be loving onon my dear grandma. And that because I had God it was just slippery slope easy! But I am not going to do that. Even though I am trusting God like you are probably doing – it is still OK to be human! Tired – drained emotionally. But that’s maybe exactly how God wanted me to be. For His compassion’s could keep on being my food?!

When He says to us, Trust me with all your heart – He really means it! Making us new in the process.

Here is a song to press these truths into our hearts just a little more. SOAK IT UP. Trust your life to Someone else with me

I was shopping on the clearance rack at Old Navy the other day. Alone 🙂 Sometimes I just feel the urge to say something kind to the stranger shopping beside me. So I spoke up and said to the lady Have you had a nice day today? And she looked at me a little surprised but then answered back, Yes I have. I told her that I hoped I hadn’t made her feel funny by me asking and she said No and that really we are very lucky to live the lives we live.

I have to agree with her.

We have so much to be thankful for every day. And if I’m getting my hair all tousled about my schedule or what I need to do – maybe it isn’t my lives fault at all – maybe it’s my poor idea of what is really important.

Running us all over the world or keeping up with my routine to a T is not what I was put here for.

Taking things as they come and letting myself breathe. So, my kids can breathe. and reminding them to be thankful and not grumble over what I fix up for dinner because we always always have full bellies and plenty.

 

Let’s go somewhere that no one ever wants to go. But you are brave and you can do this.

Death. We fear it like the plaque. We fear we’ll brake into a million pieces. We fear our God won’t put us back together.

This God of love. This God who gave us His Son.

Oh dear friend, He is able – even in death to keep on holding and loving us.

Death is never the end, in Christ. Death is not such a scary thing. I know this world is fallen. I get it. But it falls right into His arms.

Those big Daddy sized arms, that hug tightly and never let go.

Max Lucado says, “We are always in the presence of God. Our awareness of His presence falters but His presence never diminishes.”

Don’t be afraid to feel ~  : )

I think worry and fear are always going to be ugly friends of mine. I think they are my thorn, if you will.

We all have one 🙂

But don’t be fooled by your thorn. We can overcome.With good help and a little determination, hour by hour – day by day. Always believing that He will provide the strength.

You see, I fear He won’t come through… I fear looking like a fool. But I refuse to stay in this state of mind –  So, I put on the Bible verse that reminds me not to fear a,b,c,d, and then I will myself to say it out loud. To trust that the Holy Spirit in me will activate this because that is what my Bible study teacher tells me will happen. This faith thing is 2 parts she says, one part us making space for Him and the other part Him coming to bring the power in us to do the thing we needed Him to supply what we could not.

See, this is our fight down here. We have the Source of all help and hope but we must will and choose to believe it will work. Any tiny amount of faith will do, some of us are sure it must be large to get His vote to participate but we are long wrong on that.

Simple. Jesus gravitates toward simple and child like needs. (All needing is simple when it’s compared to God size-ness. We just like to rank need down here.)  That person next to you at the stop light who you think has it all together, they need Jesus too. I promise. Even if her hair looks amazing that day.

He helps me get up in time to make it to exercise class which builds my muscles and gets my body moving with other women. We’re more in this together than we realize.

He stops my eyes to see the pansies on sale at the garden store – much needed color for my winter dead looking brown yard.

He brings my son to set a purple mommy style coloring page on my pillow while I catch just a few more winks before the day gets to start.

My husband is good with the new lamp I bought that sits by his chair. I call him and ask if I can change the lamp out… he says yes. The kids and I work to fit it in the car and have fun doing it.

We spend the afternoon with our Grandma, again for the who knows how many times.

I remember to read the quote by my mirror in the bathroom – “Lord help me to love you more than any other person or thing.” I remember that doing that won’t steal my life away but instead it will build me up, deep down so I can see all that He IS doing for this girl. Despair is such a liar. 

 

 

When you want to fix things for your family and you just can’t do it – you aren’t a failure. You’re doing good to realize that its not all up to you ~

I know, it’s pain- stakingly hard to watch people you love have troubles you really feel like they should or could be rescued from.

Well guess what!? They are loved by Jesus even more than that deep down, gigantic love you have for them. So go ahead and pray for their deliverance, pray for Gods justice to prevail in their situation – because He is more than ready to fight for their good! even if it is a Goliath He will send a David 🙂

I know, it feels good to just go bananas about it sometimes. Especially if you have eaten a lot of chocolate and your hormones have come a knockin’. But set your cute self down and just be quiet and let the words to this song breath down over you tonight. (I included 2 versions for your personal taste choice – the last song is from the early 2000’s and you can giggle at the clothes and hair if that makes your day brighter! I want tell anybody )

Jesus is praying for you and your sweet life ~  and I am praying for you too.

Now you can rest your self on that pillow knowing He holds everything 🙂